Supergroups are nothing new in house music, yet a foursome comprised of two separate brotherly duos may very well be a first.
Enter Super Bash Bros: the new sibling super squad comprised of Justin Martin, Christian Martin, Mikey Lion and Porkchop. The pairing unites two of dance music’s most cherished party crews, Dirtybird and Desert Hearts, under one official (yet not-so-serious) banner.
While the group performed their first gig together at Exchange LA back in August of 2016, they subsequently reunited for a headlining slot at Desert Hearts’ annual Spring festival in early April, marking the foursome’s biggest set to date.
The story of Super Bash Bros can be traced back nearly 10 years. As it happens, Justin Martin was the first artist Mikey Lion and crew ever booked for their party ‘Jungle’ — this was before the group had even adopted the ‘Desert Hearts’ moniker.
“Justin Martin was our favorite DJ,” Mikey Lion says, sandwiched between his brother and Lee Reynolds backstage at Desert Hearts. “Over the years, we became such good friends with him.”
Justin Martin, speaking on a Skype call from San Francisco, reiterated the sentiments. “Our sounds have always been very congruent,” he says. “We’ve become closer friends over the years. It just made sense for us to do something fun together.”
The genesis of the group was kickstarted when Justin Martin was tasked with curating Inception’s 4-year anniversary at Exchange LA. Selecting Mikey Lion, Porkchop, and his brother Christian to play, the night soon presented a golden opportunity.
“I was trying to figure out the best way to do set times,” Justin says. “The end of the night set time can be special or a total disaster. I thought, ‘we’ve got all the bros together, why not all jump back on together and make it something really special?’”
Elated by the prospect, Mikey and Porkchop even got the visual engineer at the club to display the group’s newly improvised name on the gargantuan LED screen. And just like that, Super Bash Bros were born.
The foursome would unite again in January at the Dirtybird Quarterly at Mezzanine. What should have been a celebratory night and a successful sophomore appearance from the group was instead marred by the theft of Justin Martin’s USB. Though an unfortunate turn of events, the incident ultimately paved the way for Super Bash Bros’ first festival appearance.
“It made it even more important to do it at Desert Hearts and really show what we’re capable of as a dynamic foursome,” Christian says.
Desert Hearts Spring Festival. Photo credit: Michael Drummond
On Saturday night of Desert Hearts, the three-day house and techno marathon which attracts thousands of revelers to Southern California’s Los Coyotes Indian Reservation each year, Super Bash Bros took the stage just before midnight to a packed dancefloor. The ensuing set, as one would imagine, was a raucous bout of tech house turmoil, matched in energy only by the sheer absurdity of the commotion on stage.
“It wasn’t just us four on stage,” Justin says.” “It was a total party back there.”
“It was like hanging onto a roller coaster when you’re seat belt came off,” Christian adds.
“We were on a boat that was overflowing with more people,” Justin responds.
“Hanging on for dear life,” Christian says, completing the thought.
Porkchop later described the set as “four brothers fighting over the nintendo,” which feels entirely accurate given the group’s lighthearted dynamic.
“I think it’s hard to find that chemistry,” Justin Martin says. “It doesn’t come with everybody, but with them, it’s a pretty natural thing.”
Ultimately, Super Bash Bros can be viewed almost as a foil to the often highbrow culture of house and techno. “There’s so much seriousness in the dance music world. That is the exact opposite of anything we do,” Mikey Lion says. “Super Bash Bros is the worst name ever.”
As to the future of Super Bash Bros, don’t expect to be seeing them at every festival — yet don’t count out any surprise performances either.
“I feel like there are special occasions that pop up periodically that will make sense — where we don’t force it,” Christian says. “That’s how the chemistry works; being natural and going with the flow.”
Missed out on Desert Hearts? Catch the upcoming City Hearts party in Los Angeles on Saturday, July 8, at Exchange LA. Tickets are available here.